What are SMART goals? How to set goals using SMART

You've found the Father & Finance website, you've read the bio, checked out the blogs and now you want to start working towards being debt free, buying your first asset, or just putting some money aside to enjoy time with your partner and children

But how do we do that? We need to have a goal!

We need to know what it is were working towards, how were going to do this, when we are going to do this by and really just understand the level of commitment, time, and energy we will need in order to make this a success

What better time to set some Goals than right now! The New Year is coming and its that time where people are using the old phrase 'New Year, New Me.' Although were going to be different! When we set our goal we don't just say 'I'm going to make more money next year' or 'I'm going to save money'

The Issue with setting a goal at the start of the year and using language like above is that we aren't really making ourselves accountable for the goal! Were not giving our self a timescale, were probably not going to review the goal and to be honest we are most definitely going to forget about it,

That's why we are going to create goals which are SMART

What do we mean by SMART? For anyone not familiar with the acronym, when setting goals I find it a lot easier to manage and keep track of when we do it SMART

Specific – The goal is going to be specific & we will know exactly what it is we are looking to achieve! Were going to be setting more than one goal no doubt and we want them to be as specific as possible. Saying 'I'm going to save' is not specific, how much will you be saving? when will you be saving? what will you be doing to make this happen?

Measurable – There will be a way to measure the goal and whether or not it was a success or failure. Lets take the goal of saving, again instead of 'I'm going to save' we want to have a figure in mind that we are going to save. This give us something to work towards and when we look at reviewing our goals we can measure our progress against the over goal.

Attainable – The goal is realistically something that you can achieve! There’s nothing worse than setting yourself a goal that is way beyond what you can achieve, and end up feeling bad for not completing it! If your a single family income household and your yearly income in the household is £22,000 we are not going to say 'I'm going to save £19,000 of my wages next year'. Now maybe you are going to have an amazing year with saving but to this is not attainable & could even put strain on you by wanting to achieve too much, that would mean your going to live off, pay bills with and support a family with £3,000 across the whole year. Make it Realistic.

Relevant – The goal is relevant to you! For this you really need to think about what it is you want from your life, or what you want to achieve in your situation. If you want to get to the point where you don't need to work weekend because you want to spend time with your child that's great. That's relevant to you! .

Timed – The goal needs to have a time scale, and again this needs to be attainable! With us looking at goals for the next year try not to focus on making your goals a whole year long! If you say 'I'm going to save £10,000 by the end of 2022' that's great but a better way to do this would be to break your overall goal up. You could say 'my goal is to save £2000 in the first 3 months of the year without the help of my salary' This is a smaller period and will allow for you too review your progress 3 months later in which you can then change your goal accordingly for the next 3 months and understand what your doing well and not so well when it comes to achieving your goals

Now lets go ahead and set some goals, lets think about the SMART acronym as we do it and make and lets all work hard and achieve these goals in the months ahead

I think personally its good to have a set of goals which are centred around different aspects of your life and maybe set yourself say 3 goals to start with and review them over time

Goal 1: To increase my Monthly Income to £2000 a month by payday of April

S - This goal is focused solely on the money i am bringing into the house each month individually

M - I will measure this by looking at payslips and keeping a spreadsheet which will list all incomings per month

A - I believe this is attainable, giving my self the first 4 months of the year to get into a position

R - Its relevant to both me and this website! Ill be documenting what i am doing to increase my income and giving you ideas to do the same

T - As mentioned it will be on a 4 month timing but we will review this after 2 months and see how close we have got currently

For a bit of context on this Goal my current income is £1325 for my 35 hour a week job and i currently do not have any side hustles which are generating myself extra income therefor well be looking to increase our income by around £675 per month

Goal 2: Use the snowball method and pay off all my debt during the next 12 months (Jan - Dec 2022)

S - The goal is focused on getting my debt gone & not owing any more money

M - We will be able to measure this each month by looking at the balances on each debt to see if they are decreasing

A - With the goal of increasing my incomings by £600+ a month this will allow for this to be easily attainable too

R - its relevant again to my self as I want to eradicate debt from my life, and I will again be showing you guys how I'm doing it, the snowball method, and how much I'm paying each month and to where

T - I am giving my self a year to do this, but with the mindset that I will be paying it off quicker! We will have a monthly income & expenditure report going up on the site in which you can follow this journey

Goal 3: Lose 28lb in a 6 month period between January 1st & June 30th using a calorie deficit diet

S - Were focusing this goal on losing weight,

M - To measure this well be keeping track of our daily weight and using this to work out our average weekly weight loss! Well also be taking progress pics and using the mirror to judge progress

A - I know this is attainable as its around 1lb a week which is a more than healthy weight to lose and make it sustainable in the long run

R - Not only is this relevant to myself, I know a lot of you fathers out there probably think about wanting to do on numerous occasions! Well be doing it by a calorie deficit which you can work out your calories HERE

T - Were going to be doing this over a 6 month period and keeping track in a number of ways, well also keep track on the site for all joining in

We have our first 3 goals! Well put these into a section on the website HERE and you can keep track of them and also check out anything that may be relevant to these goals via the links on that page

Let us know what your goals are, how your looking to achieve them and of course keep us up to date with all of your progress!